Top 10: Technology Startups

Technology Magazine considers some of the leading technology startup companies that are committed to accelerating global business innovation

As technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based services continue to digitally transform businesses, there is greater demand for services around the world.

This has led to an increase in startup companies emerging, with big tech companies continuing to pump money into new innovation to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry. These startups are often successful, as they are adept at leveraging disruptive technologies to expand quickly and handle increasing demands.

Technology Magazine therefore takes a look at some of the current leading technology startup companies continuing to disrupt the global business landscape.

10. Wayve

Founder(s): Alex Kendall

Total funding: US$1.308bn

Wayve seeks to reshape the future of autonomous mobility as it harnesses AI to move from assisted to automated driving. The company uses embodied intelligence as an approach to self-driving vehicles as it seeks to help fleet operators unlock greater opportunities.

First founded in 2017, Wayve consists of a diverse team of experts in machine learning and robotics. It was one of the first to deploy autonomous vehicles on public roads with end-to-end deep learning and continues to test them at its locations of London, UK and California, US.

9. Scale AI

Founder(s): Alexandr Wang & Lucy Guo

Total funding: US$14bn

The mission of Scale AI is to accelerate the development of AI applications. Combining AI-based techniques with human-in-the-loop, the pioneering startup company aims to deliver labelled data at unprecedented quality, scalability, and efficiency. 

Scale's suite of dataset management, testing, model evaluation and model comparison tools enable users to ‘label what matters’. It seeks to deliver AI investment value faster with better data, in addition to providing an end-to-end solution to manage entire machine learning life cycles.

First founded in 2016, the company secured US$1bn funding at a US$14bn valuation in May 2024.

8. Inflection AI

Founder(s): Mustafa Suleyman & Reid Hoffman

Total funding: US$1.5bn at a US$4bn

Founded in 2022, Inflection AI, Inc. is a technology company that has developed machine learning and generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) hardware and applications. Its first AI model, Pi, has been created as an empathetic and conversational AI. 

Inflection AI’s developments are designed to offer developers and businesses greater access to state-of-the-art language models, transforming applications and services for users. The company’s studio aims to bring together leading AI developers, creative designers, writers and innovators to create a new class of digital experiences.

7. DataRobot

Founder(s): Jeremy Achin & Tom de Godoy

Total funding: US$1.05bn

As one of the leaders in value-driven AI, DataRobot explores a unique and collaborative approach to AI. It strives to make the power of machine learning more accessible to all by incorporating knowledge and best practices of the world’s best data scientists into a fully automated modelling platform, which is described as automated machine learning.

First founded in 2012, the company offers classes through DataRobot University for anyone looking to bring automated machine learning to their organisation, or to learn how organisations can benefit from the technology.

DataRobot users can build and monitor enterprise-level Gen AI solutions safely.

6. Perplexity AI 

Founder(s): Aravind Srinivas, Johnny Ho, Denis Yarats, Andy Konwinski

Total funding: US$63m funding at a US$1bn valuation

Founded just shy of two years ago in August 2022, Perplexity AI is fast-becoming one of the most reliable chatbot services worldwide. The company is an AI chatbot-powered research and conversational search engine that aims to answer queries using natural language predictive text. It generates answers using web sources and cites links within the text response to provide a more comprehensive overview for the user.

Since publicly launching what it describes as the world’s ‘first fully functional conversational answer engine’ in 2023, Perplexity has grown to 10 million monthly active users.

5. Mistral AI

Founder(s): Arthur Mensch, Guillaume Lample, Timothée Lacroix

Total funding: US$544m at a US$2bn total valuation

Founded in 2023 by previous employees of Meta and Google DeepMind, Mistral AI is a French company selling AI products. The Gen AI model maker made headlines in June 2023 when it secured €105m (US$112m) in its seed round from investors such as Headline, Index Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bpifrance.

The company has since made several notable business partnerships to advance the world of technology, including Snowflake in March 2024 to democratise access to AI. Likewise, its most powerful AI model, Mistral Large, is available in the Snowflake Data Cloud for customers to securely harness Gen AI with their enterprise data and build applications quickly and easily.

4. Celonis

Founder(s): Alex Rinke, Bastian Nominacher, Martin Klenk

Total funding: US$1.77bn

Celonis is a German data processing company that offers software as a service (SaaS) to improve business processes. Since 2011, the company has helped thousands of global businesses yield cash impact, improve their customer experience and reduce carbon emissions.

Its Process Intelligence platform uses industry-leading process mining technology and AI to present companies with a digital twin of their end-to-end processes. As a result, it offers greater visibility into how a business runs and visibility to achieve greater value.

The company recently expanded its partnership with leading vehicles company BMW to increase efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

3. Anthropic 

Founder(s): Dario Amodei and Daniela Amodei

Total funding: US$4.51bn

Originally a breakaway group of OpenAI ex-employees, Anthropic seeks to redefine the boundaries of responsible and ethical AI. With heavy investment from Amazon and Google, Anthropic is the developer of Claude, a rival chatbot to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Founded by a brother/sister duo, the company has also received funding from the likes of Salesforce and Zoom.

Anthropic recently announced the latest iteration of its Claude tool, Claude 3, which is capable of answering more questions and understanding longer instructions, while meeting the company’s commitment to responsible AI.

2. Canva

Founder(s): Melanie Perkins, Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht

Total funding: US$589m at a US$40bn valuation

Canva is a graphic design platform that provides tools for creating social media graphics, presentations, promotional merchandise and websites. First launched in Australia in 2013, the service offers design tools that are easy-to-use for individuals and companies alike.

The company’s large growth can be attributed to its user-friendly interface and extensive library of templates for users to explore. Canva swiftly garnered popularity as a result, with users praising its simplicity and affordability, with a lot of its services being free. By 2015, Canva had more than 2.5 million users.

Canva has since created more than 15 billion designs at a rate of more than 200 new designs every ​second.

1. OpenAI

Founder(s): Sam Altman, Elon Musk, et al.

Total funding: US$11.3bn

Since its launch of one of the most successful AI models of all time, OpenAI continues to be a leading force in the world of technology today. Founded in 2015 as a non-profit AI research lab by Elon Musk, Sam Altman and others, the AI company now conducts fundamental, long-term research toward creating safe artificial general intelligence (AGI). 

With tech giant Microsoft now holding a 49% stake in the company, OpenAI continues moving from strength to strength, delivering the next generation of AI innovation. In March 2023, the company launched GPT-4, the latest iteration in its deep learning model. It continues to innovate in this area as it seeks to make the user experience as friendly as possible.

In February 2024, it was reported that OpenAI had reached a US$2bn revenue milestone, with a valuation of more than US$80bn.

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